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Originally published Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

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Carlos Beltran singles in first spring at-bat | Baseball

At the crack of the bat, Carlos Beltran put his head down and took off running from second base. To him it was the natural thing to do. To the New York Mets...

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — At the crack of the bat, Carlos Beltran put his head down and took off running from second base. To him it was the natural thing to do. To the New York Mets, boy, was it a tense 180 feet.

Testing his right knee for the first time this spring, Beltran scored with a slide into home plate. More importantly, he bounced right up.

"Once I'm playing games I'm not thinking about being cautious," Beltran said after getting a hit in a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

The five-time All-Star outfielder was the Mets' designated hitter. The switch-hitter batted left-handed in the second inning and lined a single to right field off Michael Bowden. On Daniel Murphy's two-out hit, he ran for home.

Manager Terry Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson watched every stride as Beltran got the sign to go from third base coach Chip Hale.

"I couldn't say what was going through my mind," Collins said, "but it was a good play."

The 33-year-old Beltran batted twice more from the right side, popping out to right field both times — once against Boston setup man Hideki Okajima.

"Hittingwise, I know if my knee is able to work properly like I am expecting, I am expecting a good season offensively," Beltran said.

Beltran likely won't play in the field for a week to 10 days.

Notes

• All-Star reliever Matt Thornton has agreed to a $12 million, two-year deal with the Chicago White Sox that extends his contract through the 2013 season.

• Texas RHP Neftali Feliz has a bruised shin after being hit by a line drive during a round of live batting practice. The AL Rookie of the Year was carted off the field as a precaution, and X-rays were negative.

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• Milwaukee RF Corey Hart could be out longer than originally expected after aggravating his strained left oblique muscle. He had expected to miss two weeks, but said the injury is not improving as fast as he had hoped.

• San Diego CF Cameron Maybin took live batting practice after a second straight day of improvement from concussion-like symptoms, and the Padres hope he can return to the lineup Monday after missing five games.

• The unions for major-league baseball players and umpires held a rare joint meeting with management.

The 2 ½-hour session in Fort Myers, Fla., originally was set at the request of the players' association in early October after a series of missed calls in the playoffs.

Several former players attended the session, including Tony Clark, Steve Rogers, Bobby Bonilla and Stan Javier. Attending for MLB were executive vice presidents Joe Torre and Rob Manfred, senior adviser Frank Robinson and senior vice president Dan Halem.

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